Tuesday 12 September 2023

To be overwhelmed by the evil, pain, and suffering of this mortal world; is a demonic temptation

It happens sometimes - whether from something in one's own life; or (more often, nowadays) a depiction in the mass media, a novel, movie or TV show; or maybe after wakening from a nightmare... We become acutely, or chronically - obsessively; preoccupied with the evil, pain and suffering of this mortal world. 

For the past two or three centuries, such a conviction or obsession in a person (or institution) has generally been regarded as a sign of admirable moral sensitivity, and perhaps of actual ethical superiority. 

The belief could be summarized as: this is the ultimate reality of our world, it is intolerable; and something must urgently and as the number-one priority, be done to reform the situation with a view to eliminating the problem. 

Such a conviction has become the focus and bedrock of a wide range of 'reformist'/ leftist socio-political movements (abolition, pacifism, socialism, feminism, antiracism, healthism, environmentalism, and the sexual revolution for instance). Such a conviction has, indeed, become universal in all mainstream politics, the media, large corporations of all sorts; and among the ultra-rich-and-most-powerful. 

Such a conviction has also become the focus and bedrock of Christianity, for large numbers of self-identified Christians of all denominations and none - including most of the most influential Christian leaders. 

Theology, scripture, Christian history and everything else has been re-interpreted in this light, such that it is increasingly difficult to find anything else in the mainstream of churches.  

Jesus Christ Himself is usually regarded as having done something (what exactly he did, varies widely) towards remedying, or at least reducing, this vast weight of evil/ pain/ suffering.  

Yet, it strikes me with considerable force, that this line of thinking is a vast demonic temptation

This kind of insight and awareness is of-the-devil, not of-God

This provenance in-evil would be well worth bearing in mind, when such considerations seem compelling, and especially when we realize that the powers of propaganda and persuasion are trying to overwhelm us with exactly such a conviction.  


Evan Pangburn said...

I'm not completely sure if this is exactly what Nietzche meant by this quote, as I haven't read his works in depth since I was an ignorant teenager, but even then I always interpreted this widely quoted... quote as meaning just this:

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

This saying comes to mind often as it's something I struggle deeply with, I'm grateful for the reminder.

cecil1 said...

'The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.'

Does this not indicate that Christ came exactly to remedy this situation, the lost situation of man, and the means to escape the evil of the world?

This seems to be basic to a Christian worldview from the start with the apostles.

The spirit of the age does ape this sentiment with its doctrine of progress, that the world was and is evil, but is moving towards an ever progresssive (meaning communism) view and actualization of society, but does that mean the Christian focus is wrong?

The Christian is heading for something completely opposed to the worldview, but both need/view the current situation as needing some kind of trascending. Jesus Christ said is he that way, the world has other plans.

People have noticed this all throughout history-- how awful the plagues must have been, or the Muslim invasions, or endless famines-- every generation must of had these, but is it not precisely this awareness that harnesses the resistance?

When this plandemic came around in 2020, a lot of the populace accept it without much reflection, but a sizable minority were immediately aware of how evil and satanic the whole agenda was--- and that this had been building, lie by lie, with each propaganda piece put out, with each coercion and degradation of language, with each theft of freedom, that had been going on for 40 years... It was so obvious to me, and galling (and yes, despairing at times) that this was something profoundly evil and moving at a level beyond the awareness of any one individual and perhaps even those who think they're driving this agenda.

I think it was exactly the people who knew this who were most ready to resist, and most aware to warn others. Were you not one of those people in many ways?

Awareness of this can be a temptation to despair, but ..... well, is a blissful unawareness of the evils of the world outside one's well ensconsed (and say prosperous, diversity free, and Beverly Hills like security, or even the indifference of an NFL all season pass) not exactly the complicity that moves the bureaucratic beast system slouching along?

Thought of sight said...

Isn't right wing libertarianism coming from this ground too?

Bruce Charlton said...

ToS. Not sure what you mean, but RWL is just a minority variant of secular leftism.